Nearly 30 years ago, Gilbert Gruet discovered that the growing conditions in New Mexico -- high altitude and arid climate -- are prime for a vineyard. Having already established two Champagne houses in France, he was well versed in la methode Champenoise (the traditional technique for making sparkling wine). Today his family's Albuquerque winery is the third largest in the U.S. using this time-honored method. Its most popular: the sparkling Gruet Rose, which is refreshingly dry with a strawberry overtone and tiny, tight bubbles.


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